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Footy club revamp plan hits hurdle
Footy club revamp plan hits hurdle

East Fremantle Football Club says it will be forced to leave its home of 60 years unless plans to redevelop East Fremantle Oval get the green light.

Town of East Fremantle released a concept plan for the redevelopment of the oval precinct late last year which includes selling off parts of the A-class reserve to fund an upgrade of club facilities and local area improvements.

But this week, more than 130 local residents attended an electors meeting and demanded that the council halt all planning on the rezoning and redevelopment of the reserve.

EFFC president Con Tripi said yesterday the club would have no choice but to move if the plans were sidelined. He said the oval's facilities were derelict and archaic and had long reached their use-by date.

Mr Tripi said if the upgrades did not happen soon, the club would explore moving to Fremantle Oval or to a ground in Melville.

"We love being in East Fremantle but the community need to know that having a footy club based here is an asset too. We need their support to remain here," he said.

"It's not acceptable to do nothing - where will the money come from if nothing gets sold?

"Like all WAFL clubs, we're struggling. We don't have the money for the upgrade ourselves. We need the support of the community and council."

East Fremantle mayor Alan Ferris said the council would struggle to raise the money needed without rezoning the land.

"As a small council, it is almost impossible for us to generate the amount needed," he said.

"I understand that people are protective of the A-class reserve but the reality is the land is underutilised."

Damien Flynn, spokesman for the local action group, said it was outrageous that the council would sell off such a precious community asset.

"This land was set aside in 1901 by Sir John Forrest for recreation," he said. "The council has absolutely no mandate to sell it off.

"It sets a frightening precedent. What happens when the council needs more money? Sell more A-class reserve?"

The council's concept plan includes redeveloping 7000sqm from the Marmion Street frontage for a health club with a gymnasium, pool and cafe.